Once you’re a music tutor, the most important part of developing and growing your business will be your client base.
If you’re established, you will doubtless have a few longer term clients who provide plenty of repeat business, but you may be wondering how to take it to the next level.
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a music tutor, you will probably be grateful to get a couple of clients on board to get the ball rolling. If you are taking your first steps into the career, you should check out our guide on how to become a music tutor on the Superprof blog.
Whatever your experience level as a music tutor, it’s always nice to know how to go about attracting new clients, and drumming up new business.
There are two main ways of finding students: online methods, and the traditional offline methods.
But before we get into those, we’re going to take a look at how you can make your services more appealing to prospective students.
How to attract prospective students
Before you start to think about how you can get the message out there, and advertise your services to the public, you should consider how you can reel in potential clients.
While your experience and any qualifications you have will speak for themselves, there are other things you can to maximise your chances of building your clientbase.
Offer free classes
Ok, this doesn’t sound like a great way to make money and grow your business but hear me out.
By offering free classes, you are providing value to the customer and giving them one extra reason to want to take your class. Plus, if you’re a good music tutor, then they will almost definitely want to take another class with you.
You can go about this in a couple of ways.
The first, and the most intimidating, is to do a free class in a public setting. This should be a very basic, entertaining class with the idea of drawing attention to your services.
It’s a great way to get your name out there and letting people know that you’re in business
We have an article on how to plan music lessons, in case you were wondering the best way to go about it.
The second way is to offer a free individual class, sometimes known as a taster class. Think of it as one of those free introductory events that university sports clubs put on to get people to sign up.
This is a great way to practise your teaching without the pressure of money being on the line, and will also potentially help you get some students. If the student likes your teaching style and is interested in taking more classes, then you’re golden!
Leading on from this, if you do decide to have a free class in public, you can use some offline marketing strategies like business cards and flyers to help seal the deal with new clients.
The first type of offline marketing you can do is through print. Posters, flyers, and ads in the newspaper will all help get the word out there and increase your visibility.
Posters are surprisingly effective.
There’s something about reading a poster stuck on a wall or a lamp post that people can’t resist, especially if it has a colourful picture of a guitar on it.
When we’re out and about, we are most likely to be receptive to this kind of advertising, since we don’t feel like it is being thrust upon us.
Walking past a poster for music lessons can spark thoughts about becoming proficient in an instrument and joining a band, which while for some will only be a daydream, for others it will be a very real interest.
A tip for posters is to provide your phone number in tearaway strips, as well as on the poster itself, this way people can just rip one off and get in touch with minimal fuss.
Business cards and flyers
A great idea if you’re going to be canvassing on a university campus, or giving a free class, business cards and flyers will ensure you’re in the wallet or purse of everyone you come into contact with.
While it may seem more corporate than rock and roll, a business card will serve as a constant reminder of your services, and you can hand them out to attendees of your free public music lesson.
Last but not least, consider paying to have an ad posted in your local newspaper.
Lots of people still read the newspaper, and finding music lessons is one of the things that is often a priority, especially for parents looking for their kids.
Word of mouth
The other type of offline marketing is good old-fashioned word of mouth. One of the most effective ways to get the word out about your business, is to use your words.
If you studied music at a local school or university, then why not go back, say hello to your old teachers, and let them know that you’ve made it as a music tutor and you’re taking on classes.
This can be very effective, since students taking a music class might be under pressure from their parents to do well in their instrument exams. You will also find that a lot of students pursue extracurricular music activities, and are looking to improve too.
Friends and family
If ever there was a time to cash in a favour from friends and family, this is it.
Dropping into conversation the fact that you are looking for students at family and social gatherings can be a great way to get the message to a lot of people, via the ripple effect.
If you’re lucky enough to have connections in the music industry, now’s the time to make the most of it.
Reach out to anyone you know who has a music-based career, and ask them to keep an eye open for people looking for music classes.
You could even be cheeky and ask them to give you a shoutout on their social media pages, which could give you a huge publicity boost.
The preferred method of marketing by many businesses and tutors today is online marketing.
Doing things online is often a lot cheaper, easier, and reaches a lot more people.
Join an online tutor platform
If you have been giving music lessons in person but you’re finding business to be slow, give online tutoring a go.
With an online tutor platform such as Superprof, you can be an online music tutor, and give classes via the internet.
This has a couple of advantages.
For one it’s very convenient for both parties, making it a lot easier for the student to sign up to the class and make the commitment.
Secondly, and tying to the first point, it’s very comfortable. You can teach from the comfort of your own home, and negate the potential awkwardness that can come from one of you being in a new environment.
Lastly, you won’t need to run around like a headless chicken in an attempt to find new students, since in most cases, they will come to you.
For the online student, a website like Superprof is like a menu where they get to choose based on their interests, and what they want out of the experience.
If you make your profile as appealing as possible, and bulk it out with relevant experience and qualifications, you’ll be well on your way to securing new clients.
It will also help you know how much to charge, since you’ll be able to see what others in a similar position to you are asking for.
Make the most of social media
Social media is a powerful tool for driving traffic towards your business.
There are many ways you can use social media effectively to create interest in your music services, and ultimately, convert that into real clients.
At a very basic level, if you post about your music services periodically across your social media accounts, you will likely be reaching a lot of people.
If you make a separate account for your business, you can also get creative with it.
Posting music-related memes on a regular basis, or your thoughts on a music-based topic can help you to create an audience or following who might be interested in your services.
If you don’t think you’d be very good at this, or that you don’t have the time, then you could even consider hiring a social media manager to take care of your social media accounts for you.
You could even go as far as to create a YouTube channel dedicated to music. Say you teach guitar, you can do regular videos of you playing popular songs on your guitar, or give away free value in the form of basic tutorials or information.
This way you will generate interest around you as a person and your music, which in turn will help your business to grow. It will also provide more information to prospective students who make their decision based upon how well the music tutor can play the instrument they teach.